Friday, 26 December 2014

Boko Haram: Nigerian Army Exonerates Commanding Officer For Petitioning President Jonathan

The Nigerian Army on Thursday distanced the Commanding Officer of the 103 Battalion, Lt. Col Anthony Wende, from a petition purportedly written to President Goodluck Jonathan, on why the counter insurgency operations in the North-East had not yielded the desired results.

Some online news media recently reported that the commanding officer petitioned the president, where allegation of corruption was said to have been the reason for the prolonged battle against the insurgents.

The letter to the president also claimed that the military did not have the requisite weapons to prosecute the current counter insurgency war against Boko Haram.

Addressing a press conference, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, Col. Sani Usman, said the Nigerian army had investigated the petition and discovered that the officer was not the author of the letter.

He said, “The petition was carefully studied and investigated by the Nigerian Army and as part of this process, forensic analysis by relevant security agencies was carried out. It was discovered that the allegations were spurious and baseless as the commanding officer had nothing to do with the petition. He has therefore been exonerated.”

Usman alleged that the petition was aimed at distracting the Army from its fight against terrorism in the country.

The Army spokesman said, “We wish to categorically state that the petition is the handiwork of mischief-makers aimed at distracting the 7 Division and indeed the Nigerian Army from its determined efforts at fighting insurgency and terrorism in this nation to a logical and successful conclusion.”

He added, “You will recall that the officer’s unit currently plays a vital role in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria. Under his command, the unit, along with others, has been able to deny the terrorists freedom of action within their area of operations.

“It is out of sheer mischief therefore that someone is trying to ensure that the name of this gallant officer is smeared for inconceivable reasons.”

Wende, who was also at the press briefing, denied ever authoring the letter to the president, adding that there was no truth in the report that he was being threatened by the army authorities.

Punch Newspaper